The finance and insurance (F&I) process seems to become more complex every year. Once done through a (seemingly endless) series of phone calls and paperwork, F&I has become more automated in recent years thanks to new software solutions. Auto dealers now have access to reasonably affordable software that can automate and organize their operations and save them time (in theory).

Because of the complexity of the F&I process, it was a common place for errors to crop up in the vehicle selling process. A good software system will help your dealership remain in compliance with regulatory laws and measures. Ideally, it should be a “point and click,” menu-driven solution that will help car sellers put together a range of good options for customers in a relatively painless fashion, aggregating a lot of time-consuming individual processes into one software suite.

The newest addition to the F&I portfolio comes from popular solution provider Dealertrack in the form of a new platform called Dealertrack uniFI that was designed to streamline the car-buying process for consumers, dealers, lenders and warranty providers by offering a single platform that connects the entire deal process with open integration.

One of the goals of the new solution, according to Dealertrack, was to eliminate a significant pain point for car buyers and sellers: the three hours (on average) it took to finalize a car purchase. (Cox Automotive’s 2018 Car Buyer Journey Study found that the time the traditional F&I process took was the biggest pain point for buyers.) The time was often unavoidable, since it was filled with a multitude of tasks including credit checks, loan applications, taxes, titling and calculating trade-in values.

With the new system, Dealertrack is attempting to bring together these different systems to create a seamless F&I solution. Instead of switching between multiple systems and re-entering data each time, dealership staff can use uniFITM to run credit checks, submit credit applications, structure deals and calculate accurate payments, add aftermarket products, and speed trade-in payoff and title release. Compliance-specific documents that meet federal laws and regulations can also be generated automatically.

“The car-buying experience should be an exciting time for consumers, but it’s often lengthened by a set of disjointed technologies required to finalize the sale,” said Cheryl Miller, VP and general manager of Dealertrack F&I Solutions. “Dealertrack uniFITM creates a single technology platform to simplify the process. Dealership sales staff spend less time logging into and typing data into various systems, enabling customers to enjoy their new vehicles more quickly and freeing dealers to focus more attention on serving customers.”